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October 8th, 2015 9:00 AM   to   4:30 PM

Big Data & You, 8th October, in Cardiff




This event will look at the applications of Big Data and the ethics of Big Data and privacy.  A major theme raised at last year’s Big Data event, was the identification of geospatial information as a ‘key’ to the deanonymization of personal data.  With the benefits offered by Big Data come potential issues around securing personal rights and the role of geolocation in this arena.


Confirmed speakers


        Professor Ronan Lyons, Professor of Public Health, Swansea University

Ronan has been involved in environmental epidemiology and health informatics for some thirty years. He is the Director of the Farr Institute centre at Swansea University, Director of the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research and Co-Director of the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Centre and is also an Honorary Consultant in Public Health with Public Health Wales NHS Trust. He leads some of the largest scale studies linking health and environmental data at at individual level.

Gary Gale, Director of Malstow Geospatial Ltd

As a neogeographer and geotechnologist, Gary has over 25 years' commercial experience in the mapping, geospatial and location based services industries. He's the CTO of what3words, helping everyone and everything have a human friendly global address. Previously he's been Head of APIs for the Ordnance Survey, the United Kingdom's national mapping agency; the Geotechnologist-in-residence for Lokku; he was Director of Places and Director of Global Community Programs for Nokia Maps and HERE Maps. Before joining Nokia he led Yahoo’s UK Geo Technologies group, launching GeoPlanet, Placemaker, helping Flickr and Fire Eagle do location based services and even worked at the European Space Agency, a job which really was rocket science.


                Bill Oates, Chief Data Scientist, Office for National Statistics

Bill Oates joined ONS in June 2015 in the newly created post of Chief Data Scientist. In this role he will be taking forward work on the use of Big Data for official statistics, plus the application of new tools and techniques for the management and production of government data deliverables. His ONS responsibilities also include the ONS Geography team, who provide a number of key geographic products and services that are a key contribution to our national information infrastructure. Prior to ONS, Bill lead the Geography and Technology team in Welsh Government, doing a similar mixture of geographical and data focussed tasks. In the days when he actually did stuff, that was mostly using GIS to tackle a range of problems, ranging from environment (air pollution, flooding etc.) through the mobile phone coverage and network planning.


             Pete Burnap, Director, Social Data Science Lab, Cardiff University

Dr Pete Burnap is a faculty member of the School of Computer Science at Cardiff University. He has developed a reputation for data-driven, innovative, and interdisciplinary research that broadly contributes to the growing domain of Data Science, in the application areas of Social Computing and Cyber Security. His contribution to Social Computing has been developed through the creation of the Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS) programme of research, which he pioneered between 2012 and 2015. He was a co-founder of COSMOS and has captured more than £2.16 million over 13 projects to conduct research into online human and software behaviour and interaction, with the aim of developing new computational and statistical models and algorithms to measure emerging and future risks posed to public and economic security, safety and wellbeing. In the area of Cyber Security, he has captured more than £2.4 million in grant funding, including a significant £1.2million investment by EPSRC in exploratory interdisciplinary research in Cyber Security.  He is a Director of the Social Data Science Lab at Cardiff and in total he has been awarded more than £4.6million in grant funding and has published more than 50 academic articles.


                  Charles Kennelly, Chief Technology Officer, ESRI UK

Charles has worked in the GIS industry for 20 years, starting life as a digitiser and working through the various aspects of the industry. Initially in local government and latterly with Esri UK, Charles has been involved in the design, development, deployment and management of a number of successful GI systems. Now working as the CTO for Esri UK, Charles specialises in finding ways of making GIS accessible to ordinary users in wide-ranging environments, from consumer mapping to enterprise and business critical systems.


                 Dr Crispin Cooper, Cardiff University

Dr Crispin Cooper works for the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, where he creates spatial network analysis software sDNA and looks for new ways to apply it in research.  To date, he has used sDNA to investigate health, pollution, accessibility, community cohesion, carbon footprinting and economic geography.  He is now focusing on modelling cycle flows for sustainable transport and health.  In his current role he has worked with Cardiff Council, the Hay Festival, Canal and Rivers Trust and Sustrans and as well as private sector engineering consultancies.  sDNA is used by hundreds of researchers and practitioners worldwide.


                 Anna Abelson, Managing Director, Travel & Tourism Practice

As MD of the Travel & Tourism Practice, Anna is responsible for designing marketing and business development strategy within the travel vertical for 9.8 Group worldwide, crafting strategic alliances and managing market positioning initiatives. With over 10 years’ experience, Anna has worked with a variety of travel businesses and brands, ranging from public and private sectors: ministries of tourism,  destination marketing organizations, airlines -  such as Lufthansa German Airlines, Tourist Office of Spain, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thai Airways, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey and others.

                       Ian Lisk,  Head of Natural Hazards at the Met Office

Providing leadership, strategic direction and oversight of Met Office natural hazard objectives and partnerships, Ian is also Chair of the UK Natural Hazards Partnership (NHP) -The UK’s trusted voice for coordinated natural hazards advice’, see for further details.

Vice-president of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology, Ian has responsibility for helping to oversee and direct WMO’s role, on behalf of its 191 Members, in responding to the requirements of the global aviation industry, primarily through the agreed working arrangements between WMO and ICAO.

He joined the Met Office as a Weather Observer in 1987.  1990-1992, he was Operational Weather Forecaster based mainly in western England, Scotland and Wales and detachments to the Falklands and Ascension island. 2002-2006 he was a Forecaster Instructor at the Met Office College.  2006-2010, International collaboration manager.  2010-2013, Volcanic Ash Programme Manager. 2013-present, Head of Natural Hazards and Chair of the NHP. 2003-present, various international expert roles in support of World Meteorological Organisation aviation, disaster risk reduction and personnel training and development activities.



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SWALEC Stadium
Sophia Walk
Cardiff, CDF CF11-9SZ
United Kingdom

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